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Emotion Regulation Strategies

Part One. General Strategies

  1. Shauna L. Clen,
  2. Douglas S. Mennin,
  3. David M. Fresco

Published Online: 29 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118528563.wbcbt05

The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

How to Cite

Clen, S. L., Mennin, D. S. and Fresco, D. M. 2013. Emotion Regulation Strategies. The Wiley Handbook of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Part One:5:1–21.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 NOV 2013


Targeting emotion regulatory processes through skills-based interventions has the potential to enhance traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, especially for disorders that tend to be resistant to long-term remission. In this chapter, we (a) briefly review an affect science approach to emotional functioning, (b) present an argument for utilizing an emotion regulation framework to improve upon traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, (c) provide a rationale for targeting specific emotion regulatory mechanisms in treatment, and (d) outline and briefly review relevant research and interventions regarding four important emotion regulatory mechanisms, including directed attention (i.e., the ability to focus, sustain, and flexibly move attention), emotional acceptance (i.e., the ability to turn openly toward, allow, and remain in personal contact with an emotional experience), cognitive distancing (i.e., the ability to identify, observe, and generate psychological perspective from inner experiences), and cognitive change (i.e., the ability to change one's evaluation of an event such that the event is altered in its emotional significance). Utilizing an emotion regulation framework in conceptualization, intervention, and therapeutic process may facilitate the development of regulatory abilities that will alleviate suffering and enhance clients' capacities to navigate difficult life challenges and pursue meaningful goals.


  • emotion;
  • regulation;
  • mechanism;
  • skill;
  • attention;
  • acceptance;
  • distancing;
  • cognitive;
  • change;
  • reappraisal